Workers' remittances are often argued to have a tendency to move countercyclically with the GDP in recipient countries since migrant workers are expected to remit more during down cycles of economic activity back home. Yet, how much to remit is a complex decision involving other factors, and different variables driving remittance behavior are differently affected by the state of economic activity over the business cycle. This paper investigates the behavior of workers' remittances flows into 12 developing countries over their respective business cycles during 1976-2003 and finds that countercyclicality of receipts is not commonly observed across these countries.
Mariya Brussevich, Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, and Salma Khalid
Lockdowns imposed around the world to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic are
having a differential impact on economic activity and jobs. This paper presents a new index
of the feasibility to work from home to investigate what types of jobs are most at risk. We
estimate that over 97.3 million workers, equivalent to about 15 percent of the workforce, are
at high risk of layoffs and furlough across the 35 advanced and emerging countries in our
sample. Workers least likely to work remotely tend to be young, without a college education,
working for non-standard contracts, employed in smaller firms, and those at the bottom of the
earnings distribution, suggesting that the pandemic could exacerbate inequality. Crosscountry
heterogeneity in the ability to work remotely reflects differential access to and use of
technology, sectoral mix, and labor market selection. Policies should account for
demographic and distributional considerations both during the crisis and in its aftermath.